The latest and greatest gadget on the market today is no doubt the iPad from Apple. They are fun, portable, and can accomplish many tasks, mostly for fun but also for work.

iPad owners should think about the best ways to protect their investment, because iPads are not cheap toys. Rather they are quite expensive and thought and care needs to be considered to protect the surface of the iPad. There are many different accessories out on the market today specifically made for iPads. Some examples are touch screen protectors, carrying cases, and stylists, to name a few. One area that needs the most protection is the screen, but the rest of the iPad could benefit from a cover as well.

Enter the skin. A 'skin' refers to a type of cover for any electronic device, i.e., cell phones, smart phones, laptops, iPods, and of course, iPads. A skin is beneficial because it is a very thin covering and does not interfere with the device itself. Skins are normally made from a type of plastic or vinyl with some adhesive to it. All skins are removable but depending on the manufacturer, a skin may or may not be placed on the iPad again once it's removed. Some companies advise that they can be placed on the iPad again after it is removed, but it may not cover as well as it did the first time. This is something to keep in mind when purchasing, especially when it comes to cost.

iPad skins come in solid colors, clear covers, or many different designs. Do an internet search and you will find the choices to be mind boggling. A few ideas to help narrow your search are:

  • Solid colors in every hue
  • A variety of patterns, such as paisley, plaid, polka dot, floral, etc.
  • College logos and colors
  • Favorite paintings by both famous and new artists
  • Favorite music singers or bands
  • Designs related to a favorite hobby or sport
  • Favorite animals or animal prints

Another exciting option that is becoming popular is the customizable iPad skins. Some manufacturers will allow you to upload a picture to be used as the design of the skin. There are even some companies that allow text to be integrated into the design, even further customizing and personalizing your very own iPad skin. Now you will never again get your iPad mixed up with your friend's iPad!

Skins will not harm iPads and most are designed not to void their warranties. However research carefully when considering purchasing a skin. Read as much about the material that the skin is made from and any instructions on applying the skin to the iPad. Most are easy to apply and take only minutes. One tip when applying…no matter from whom you purchase the skin, every manufacturer will advise to make sure the iPad is clean before applying. This will ensure a smooth cover and will minimize bumps and make smoothing out air bubbles much neater. This cannot be emphasized enough, so make sure to take the time to clean and also to have the proper tools for cleaning the iPad.

Skins for the iPad are a beautiful and fun alternative to a boring cover or no cover at all. As long as you are protecting your iPad, you might as well make it fun and personal!